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Designing For Problem Solvers

Started by droqen, June 05, 2022, 08:31:05 PM

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droqen

Quoteas game designers, when we think about how we would solve the problem of a frustrated and stuck user, It's unlikely that we would say: well, they're just a bad problem-solver, and leave it at that. Instead, we'd probably try to build a tutorial to teach that user a series of skills to turn the non-routine problem they're facing, into a routine one. But interestingly, this approach isn't one of trying to improve their problem-solving skills, it's one of trying to get around their problem-solving skills.

Quoteit turns out there actually is one weird trick to enable non-expert problem-solvers to solve problems that are out of their league. It's an incredibly powerful technique when you're able to wield it because it allows you to make entirely new games appreciable to everyone, as well as build tutorials and difficulty curves, even in more typically routine games that are tuned across the board for expert and novice problem-solvers alike

QuoteIf you provide novice problem-solvers with a problem, they'll attempt to solve it using superficial strategies
[..]
But if you provide novice problem-solvers with — instead of a problem — a set of constraints, and then ask them to form and solve their own complex problems, something amazing happens — they solve these problems with expert-level strategies.

Quote from: Slide 37
teach someone to fish
vs.
have someone invent things to do around a pond with a hook, line, and stick


droqen

turns out maybe i have nothing to say about this!!! i just think this is an incredible bunch of observations by zach.

here's something i sent to the letterclub though:

Quote from: mei wonder if what's SO appealing to me about tiny (haiku(-ish?)) games is that... tiny, constrained spaces more easily produce these kinds of self-directed problem solving experiences. in awake you instantly learn about the constraints, and there are really only two or three things you could possibly try to do. it's highly linear, but it feels linear in a way that does not feel authored; it feels discovered